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Noah Sweet AKA Lefty Makes Right Designs

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Noah Sweet Turns Concepts into Paint Schemes

By Justin Albino

Over the past handful of years, NASCAR fans may have seen the name “Lefty” on social media. The man behind the “Lefty” nickname is Noah Sweet, a 22-year-old paint scheme designer from Michigan.

For as long as Sweet can remember, he’s been enthralled with NASCAR. His family was originally into drag racing, so one would assume he would have gone the NHRA route with his creative touch. However, when he went to big box stores, such as Walmart or Lowe’s, as a youngster he was drawn to the NASCAR die-cast cars.

“I remember seeing the silver paint on one of the Jimmie Johnson cars and thought this was cool,” Sweet recalled. “It looked a lot cooler than the Hot Wheels.”

Sweet loves to design paint schemes. What began as a hobby while playing “NASCAR Thunder” on PlayStation soon became a passion.

He played baseball and flag football, but nothing got his creative juices flowing like NASCAR.

Sweet’s desire to design paint schemes came to a head in 2017, when there were reports of William Byron moving to the Cup Series to compete for Hendrick Motorsports. Sweet’s first professional design on a computer came with an outline of a potential rendering for Byron’s rookie campaign.

When NASCAR on Fox began televising the iRacing Pro Invitational Series during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Sweet’s first paint scheme to hit television screens was for Landon Cassill, who was driving the No. 89 Morgan Shepherd car sponsored by Blu-Emu.

Initially, Sweet thought his first paint scheme to hit the race track was going to be a dragon theme for Barstool Sports and driver Clint Bowyer. Dale Earnhardt Jr. shared Sweet’s rendering, which caught the eye of Barstool founder Dave Portnoy, but it was scrapped once the pandemic struck.

Finally, in the fall of 2020, Sweet won a contest through Ally Financial to design one of Johnson’s paint schemes for Texas Motor Speedway. Johnson happened to be Sweet’s hero, so getting an opportunity like that was once in a lifetime. Unfortunately, the No. 48 car blew an engine and finished 36th.

“That one holds a special place in my heart,” Sweet said of the design. “I have two of them sitting here on my dresser. I look at it and think I would have done this, this or that or do that instead of this. I often look back on some of my old work and think I would have done something differently.

“Being able to talk to Jimmie trumped the entire paint scheme. I had never met him or talked to him, and he had been my hero for my whole life. Getting to talk to him, it didn’t matter the circumstances, was something I’ll never forget. That whole experience feels so much different from any car I’ve had on track.”

Sweet’s first paid paint scheme was for the 2021 Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway. That same Blue-Emu scheme from the Pro Invitational was on Cassill’s car as he returned to JD Motorsports. Sweet considers that his first true scheme to hit the track because the Ally partnership was a fan contest.

Currently, Sweet has a working relationship with Team Dillon Management, a full-service marketing agency led by driver Austin Dillon. He has a special relationship with TDM Xfinity Series driver Anthony Alfredo, designing multiple schemes for his cars.

Sweet’s best work, he believes, was designing Alfredo’s Pit Boss Grills scheme in 2022, which was the first time he implemented flames on a race car. Pit Boss liked it so much that it returned this season.

“Alfredo always loves my work and talks highly of me,” Sweet said. “I really appreciate that dude – he’s done a lot for me. All of my cars that have hit the track in the Xfinity Series have been through Team Dillon Management. I make concepts and, if the sponsor likes it, it hits the track after getting wrapped. In the first quarter of the year, I had five that hit the track.”

One of those was the Global Industrial scheme Austin Hill drove to victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in early March. But that wasn’t Sweet’s first scheme to win a race. That honor went A.J. Allmendinger’s Nutrien Ag Solutions car, which won at Circuit of The Americas in 2022.

Sweet has lost track of how many schemes he’s had approved, but some of his biggest clients include Hooter’s with Chase Elliott and Axalta with William Byron, which has used its RAPTOR scheme more times than not this season.

“I always say it’s half of what you know and half of who you know,” Sweet noted. “If you don’t have eyes on your work and you have the best work on the planet – you’ve got to learn to love it. If you don’t like designing, you’re going to find a lot of points where nothing is happening, nobody is contacting you and nobody has asked you to do work and you’re just sitting there.

“It’s one of those things where you sit down and work on things and there’s an outcome where you know the car is going to hit the track and you’re going to get paid, it’s easy to do. Most of that comes from the fact that people have either hired you or they have you looped into their network and knows someone that knows someone. It’s all about making sure bridges aren’t burnt and putting yourself in position and making opportunities for yourself.

“Then, you have to be respectful and mindful of what clients want,” Sweet continued. “You have to learn where to put your input because there’s going to be a lot of times where you’re not going to like the creative decision that’s made. The designer isn’t the one footing the bill. Sometimes, you get creative liberties; sometimes, you get handed an instruction booklet to follow guidelines and have to translate it to the car. It’s one of those things where you have to understand that you have to do your job on it.”

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Josh Mull

Josh Mull

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